Your wedding day is a happy time of celebration, but it can also feel a little sad. If you have lost a parent, it can be a bitter reminder that they are not there with you to see you get married.
You can’t wave a magic wand and take the pain away, but finding a way to honor your deceased parent on your wedding day and include them in the celebrations can help you to feel better.
We have put together this list of special ways that you can include a deceased parent in your wedding so that you can honor their memory.
Order Of Service
A simple and sweet way to include a deceased parent in your wedding is to have a dedications section in your order of service.
You can include a photograph and some information for your guests about your loved one, when you lost them, and some touching words. You may also want to include other family members you have lost, such as grandparents etc.
Keep Them A Seat
You can leave an empty seat during the ceremony, with a framed photograph on the chair. You could also place a flower in front of the photograph. This honors their memory and brings their presence to your wedding day – they can be there for you in spirit if not in body.
During your service, you may want to include a reading of a poem or an extract from a book that has special meaning to you and your deceased parent. It could be their favorite poem, or something they used to read to you when you were a child.
This is a lovely way to show that they are in your thoughts and to make them a part of your special day.
Some people like to have a slideshow of photographs at their wedding. This could be shown during the ceremony, as part of the speeches, or just be on in the background at the drinks reception.
It might be photographs of the married couple throughout their relationship, or pictures that were taken during the ceremony. You can include some photographs of your deceased parent in the slideshow to honor them.
A unique way to include your lost loved one in your wedding is in your bouquet! The stalks of the flowers are usually wrapped in ribbon, material, or colored tissue paper.
You can get a custom piece of material or paper with photographs of your parent on it, and ask the florist to use that to wrap the bottom of the bouquet.
You could also get a miniature framed photo of your parent, maybe even in a locket, and attach that to your bouquet. A more subtle option is to include your deceased paren’t favorite flower in your bouquet.
Something Old Or Borrowed
You know the saying – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Well you could use something that belonged to your deceased parent as your something old or something borrowed.
It could be a piece of jewelry that belonged to your mother, or a pin badge of your fathers. A groom can wear his father’s tie pin or cuff links.
You can also ask your partner to wear something that belonged to your parent to show that they are also honoring them on your special day.
A private way to keep your lost loved one close to your heart on your wedding day is to sew a memory patch into your outfit. It could be a simple heart, or a photograph printed on material.
Sew it inside a sleeve or on the hem of a dress so that you know they are there, with you all day long.
Wear Their Scent
A bride could wear their mother’s favorite perfume, or a groom could wear their father’s favorite aftershave. This is a subtle yet touching way to honor your lost parent.
Some brides choose to get their veil embroidered with a special message that reminds them of their lost parent. It could be their parent’s name, their date of birth and date of death, or could be an encouraging phrase.
Lots of people will stop to look at the wedding cake, displayed on a special table. This could be a good place to display a framed photograph of your deceased parent to make them a part of the celebrations. A black and white photograph would look very elegant and touching.
There are lots of options when it comes to including your deceased parent in your table decorations. You could include their favorite flower or color in your decorations. You could add a framed photograph of them to each table.
You could include their favorite sweet treat as part of the favors, or even mini bottles of their favorite alcohol on the tables.
Including your deceased parent in the speeches is a very touching and emotive way to make them a part of your special day. You could include a tribute to them, or talk about how they would have felt on your wedding day.
If the father of the bride is deceased then another family may want to make a speech in their honor and think about what they would have said if they had been there.
There might be a song that was special to you and your parents that you could include in your ceremony. Or you might want to play their favorite song so remind you of them. This could be a replacement for the father and daughter dance if the bride’s father has passed away.
One of the best ways to feel the presence of a lost loved one is through video footage. You could find a way to include some family videos in the ceremony that featured the deceased parent.
Losing a parent is hard and you never stop missing them, but there are lots of ways that you can include them in your wedding day to honor their memory.